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The robotic competition store assistants are facing

  • Checkout
  • October 14, 2015
  • Elly Strang
The robotic competition store assistants are facing

1. The startlingly human-like robot at Mitsukoshi department store



 


If you're afraid of robots disguised as humans, this robot named ChihiraAico is the stuff of nightmares. It is creepily human looking and can smile, sing and even mimic sign language.

However, a key giveaway of it being a robot is ChihiraAico can’t actually hold a two-way conversation and just runs her pre-recorded spiel as a receptionist.

“We are aiming to develop a robot that can gradually do what a human does,” Hitoshi Tokuda, the chief specialist at Toshiba, said of the robot.

“The standard of customer service in this Mitsukoshi flagship store is top quality and this is a great opportunity to see what role our humanoid can play in this kind of environment.”

2. The adorably cute robot named Pepper that’s selling Nestle coffee




 


Pepper, which is made by Softbank, is slightly more impressive than ChihiraAico in its capabilities, as it can chat with customers and even read their emotions. 

It's also endearingly cute, which helps take away the creep factor.

Pepper’s makers say it understands up to 80 percent of a conversation.

Nestle was one of the first companies to jump on board and use Pepper the robot in stores.

The coffee giant said it wants to “actualise a futuristic experience at stores” by using Pepper, so essentially it reckons robots are the future of retail.

Pepper can be bought for around $2000 and programmed to specific stores. It’s also due to launch in the US later this year.

3. Lowe’s refreshingly unhuman-like retail robot



 

A hardware store is perhaps the store that’s least expected to use a robot, but Lowe’s in the US decided to be the pioneer.

Since last year, it’s been trialling two Oshbots robot sales assistants.

The Oshbots aren’t the most engaging of robots (they can’t read emotions) and they don't resemble humans, but this is somewhat refreshing for the customer, as they don't look like undercover cyborgs that are going to take over the world.

They're also surprisingly useful, as they can scan items the customer holds up to it and locate them in the store.

Oshbots are also more talented than some humans in the way they can speak several languages.

If a customer wants support from a staff member more attentive than a white, emotionless robot, they can connect to human employees who can be of further assistance.

​ ​

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Hell Pizza challenges Valentine’s Day tradition

  • Checkout
  • February 19, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Hell Pizza challenges Valentine’s Day tradition

Yesterday, Hell Pizza challenged the idea of Valentine’s Day with a campaign promoting a night for one, rather than a night out with the masses at a restaurant or bar.

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Just in Valen-time: Krispy Kreme shows its love

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  • February 14, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
Just in Valen-time: Krispy Kreme shows its love

Where there is a gap in the market, it will eventually be filled. So, has reigned true for the poorly timed disappearance of Candy Hearts and Krispy Kreme’s new ‘Conversation Doughnuts’ which have seemed to take the place of the classic Valentine’s Day candy.

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Real Groovy record store moves location, again.

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  • January 31, 2019
Real Groovy record store moves location, again.

Popular record store Real Groovy is moving for the sixth time in 30 years, this time only making a small hike up Queen Street where it will resettle.

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Hell launches ‘unruly tourist’ pizza

  • Checkout
  • January 24, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Hell launches ‘unruly tourist’ pizza

As the unruly tourists saga continues, Hell Pizza decided to join the conversation with a billboard 'launching' a limited edition pizza.

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  • January 16, 2019
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Gram of the week: NZ Retail Magazine

  • Gram of the week
  • December 20, 2018
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As 2018 comes to an end, what a more fitting Instagram page to celebrate than our own. NZ Retail Magazine has had a busy year, and keeping readers up to date through our Instagram page has been an important part of that. Plus it looks pretty good if you ask any of us.

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